Contrary to what people believe, Buddhism is not a religion. It is a lifestyle and a practical experience. It dates back more than 2500 years when a man named Siddhartha Gautama (later known as Buddha) achieved “enlightenment” (a state of mind where you reach harmony of body and mind) by way of “Zen meditation”, a way of self-discovery and vigilance practiced by sitting on a meditation cushion and experiencing living in the moment, here and now.
Zen Buddhism challenges all aspects of your everyday life. Nowadays everybody’s too busy seeking success, power, money and recognition, which only leads you to be stressed out all the time, have poor eating habits, trouble sleeping, suffer from anxiety, depression, and to compare yourself to others all of the time.
Preconceived notions have molded our lifestyle, making us believe that we have to be more productive and run around all the time, whereas Zen teaches us to slow down in order to achieve true peace and happiness.You have to follow your own process through studying yourself and working on achieving moments of inner wisdom that can change your life.
You can implement a few easy Zen Buddhism practices in your life even if it may seem a bit overwhelming. Pick a few that may work for you and start from there, and remember, the point of Zen is not overthinkingand letting go of stress and anxiety.
1) Zen, or “Buddhist Meditation”
Zen meditation or “Zazen” (za= sitting and Zen=meditation, in Japanese) is the base of Zen Buddhism. A few minutes a day can decrease anxiety and stress in a couple of weeks. It will help you develop a filter for your mind so you can take on new challenges in a more conscious and peaceful way.
Meditation has been proven successful as a way to “reset” your mind. It can help you unwind from a hectic lifestyle, making you more resilient, productive, calm and a happier person all around.
There are a ton of books and articles out there to help you break down different types of meditation practices, especially Zazen, or sitting meditation, such as Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation and Shunryu Suzuki’s “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”.